ELECTION Directed by: Alexander Payne Screenplay by: Payne, Jim Taylor, based on novel by Tom Perrotta Starring: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein, Phil Reeves, Mark Harelik, Delaney Driscoll, Molly Hagan, Colleen Camp, Jessica Campbell At: Nickelodeon, suburbs Running time: 103 minutes Rated: R (strong sexuality, sex-related dialogue and language, and a scene of drug use)
"Election" is an invigoratingly mordant comedy that proves that Alexander Payne's rambunctious debut, "Citizen Ruth," was no fluke. That film pivoted on Laura Dern's far from model citizen and her fight to avoid being turned into an abortion pawn. This one is driven by Reese Witherspoon's high school overachiever who is too much of a perfect citizen for her well-intended civics teacher's comfort. You've got to laugh at Witherspoon's tightly wound Little Miss Perfect, rising at dawn to do her hair and encase herself in a preppy look before baking cupcakes to pass out at school as vote-getters in her campaign for student council president.
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